Miguel Ibarra vs. San Jose 2

In the Moment: Miguel Ibarra

A lot goes down on the pitch in any given match. For In the Moment, we talk to a player about a specific play from last week’s match, letting them give an inside view of the play as it developed.

Miguel Ibarra began a fruitful partnership with Darwin Quintero last season, working the seams on the right side of the pitch as he overlapped with Quintero in the middle. Each assisted on multiple goals for the other in 2018 and they connected again in the second game of this season with Quintero finding Ibarra in the 52nd minute of the Loons’ 3-0 win over San Jose.

What jumps out immediately on the goal is Ibarra’s cutback on midfielder Judson. It opens up just enough of a window for Ibarra to send the ball in with his left foot. But it wasn’t just a momentary inspiration.

Miguel Ibarra: Previous to this, I had already cut it twice on [Marcos Lopez] and he handballed it, so my instinct was just to cut it and hit it. When I actually cut it, I saw all three of them surrounding me and I said, “I have a little window to get it through.”

Just minutes earlier, Ibarra had hit an overhead flick in front of a flailing Lopez in the box, forcing the handball and earning the penalty kick for Quintero. Because of this, Ibarra was banking on the cut either working or at least causing another problem. When he brought it to his left, he quickly saw that goalkeeper Daniel Vega was flatfooted.

Ibarra: The only place I could put it was the far post. You can tell because it went right over his fingertips. If he shifts, I think he saves it.

To set it up, Quintero juked one defender and then delayed his pass long enough to draw in both Judson and defender Harold Cummings, who was following the play.

Ibarra: I had to hold my run a little bit because he [Darwin] was waiting for the defender to commit. Once he makes the step, that's when he decides to put it in because he saw Cummings coming on his left side. 

Last year, we connected well so this year, coming in, he said, 'I already know how you play, you know how I play, so just keep doing the same.' Now we have a whole year to grow even more.

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